Tuesday, August 11, 2009

British 25 pounder Gun

The Ordnance QF 25 pounder, or more simply, 25-pounder or 25-pdr, was introduced into service just before World War II, during which it served as the major British field gun/howitzer. It was considered by many to be the best field artillery piece of the war, combining high rates of fire with a reasonably lethal shell in a highly mobile piece. It was the British Army's primary artillery field piece well into the 1960s, with smaller numbers served in training units until the 1980s.

The most famous field gun used by Australian forces during World War 11 was the Mark 2 25-pounder gun-howitzer. Introduced in 1940 it could fire at high velocity on a flat trajectory as well as serving as a howitzer, capable of firing on targets hidden behind hills, which made it invaluable in Malaya. When the full weight of fire of a Battery was brought to bear on a target the result was devastating.

The 25 pounder fired a 25-pound projectile at a normal range of 12,500 yards, extending to 13,400 yards when using super charge. Fitted with a telescope sight as well as the usual dial sight for indirect fire, the 25 pounder could traverse a full 360 degrees on its special firing platform. To witness the effect of a direct hit on an enemy tank was an awesome sight It was also used when repulsing attacking enemy boats at Muar.

The steady rate of fire of five rounds a minute made it valuable in repulsing enemy attacks, as the advancing 'g Japanese found on several occasions. Its superb accuracy, reliability and efficiency were the pride of the gun crews who manned them, keeping others busy at the work of feeding its voracious appetite for ammunition.

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